Posted tagged ‘admissions’

Why Ross? 2 – Fear of Failure

September 13, 2008

It is always awesome to receive comments from readers (especially encouragement from pals back home [thanks, JJ!]) but by far, my favorites are the ones from people who stumbled across this blog who also want to become doctors. I think we share a special sort of kinship because just last year, I was exactly that person – anxiously waiting for interviews, filling out applications, lamenting my sub-par MCAT score and trying to figure out what I’d do with my life if I couldn’t be a doctor. And now here I am, a little bit closer to one of my most cherished dreams, scuffed and battle-worn from the first set of challenges but still on the road, still training, preparing for the next phase of the war. I guess it’s more like a conquest, kind of like my favorite sort of video game. At each stage, there are obstacles (some minor, some major) as well as rings or treasures that you need to collect. You pick up skills along the way and these prepare you to fight the boss at the end of the stage. I guess I’ve just cleared stage one and fortunately, I didn’t have to repeat it (so…I guess I get a time bonus?). Still several levels to go, but I’m going to beat this game.

I received a comment yesterday that I just had to respond to, especially this bit:

There are a lot of people that want to become doctors but are too scared to fail…like me.”

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April is the cruellest month (for med school applicants)…

April 16, 2008

One of my pals from HCP wrote me the other day to congratulate me on my acceptance to Ross. I thanked him and cheerfully asked, “Where are you headed this fall?”

His reply: “No acceptances so far. Crazy huh?”

My brain: …….what?!?!?

This pal is one of the smartest people I know. He was my lifeline in physics and a go-to-guy during help sessions before orgo lecture. Not only is he ridiculously intelligent, he’s delightfully quirky and he got interviews at ALL the top schools, schools I didn’t even bother applying to because I knew I’d be competing with guys like him. And he’s still waiting????

Sometimes I forget that there is no justice in this world.

April is when everyone starts getting antsy. If they haven’t called you yet or plucked you from the wait lists, you have to face the possibility of reapplication – going through everything all over again, having to wait another year to finally start on your path.

Even though the logical part of your brain knows that rejection isn’t the end of the world and even if every time you’ve has been asked “What will you do if you don’t get in?”, you matter-of-factly respond, “I’ll reapply next cycle”, reapplication is a scary prospect. The self-doubt can be crippling and for some reason, advisors love to chirp, “Well, why don’t you consider a career in one of the other health professions?”

It’s like asking a groom who was stood up at the alter if he wouldn’t prefer to marry one of the bridesmaids instead.

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Why medicine?

April 7, 2008

It’s the question every applicant dreads. Whether it’s an essay topic or an interview ice breaker, if you apply to med school you are going to have to come up with an answer to this one. It comes in many forms (e.g., ‘What inspired you to pursue a medical career?’ or the more blunt ‘Why are you here?’). Some people can condense their ambition into one or two sentences. Others struggle to articulate it in less than 500 words.

To be honest, I’ve never given a straight answer to this question. I’ve always given the noble, beneficent, soft-sell version of my desire. I want to save babies. I “picture myself in a white coat with a stethoscope slung around my neck making my rounds in the NICU, listening to tiny hearts, letting tiny fists squeeze my index finger.” Yes, I could happily spend the rest of my life doing just that. I can’t think of a profession that would be more fulfilling or more satisfying. However, these reasons are not the root of my passion.

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Why Ross?

April 3, 2008

In May, I will begin my medical education at Ross University School of Medicine, located in the Commonwealth of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic), the “nature island” of the Caribbean. As I mentioned in my previous post, Ross is an off-shore med school. Hmmm…what’s an off-shore school? Why aren’t I going to an on-shore school?

First, some background info. I began the medical school application process last summer. I took the MCAT, wrote a brilliant personal statement, solicited and received letters of recommendation and sent my AMCAS application to 11 schools. At Thanksgiving, having received only a rejection and a wait-list notice, I sent my application materials to 4 more schools. After Christmas, I’d received a couple more rejections, another wait-list notice and ::gasp:: an interview invite! It was for SUNY Upstate, one of the schools in my top 5 (primarily because it was in NY, my home state). In my head, I’d been rehearsing how I’d nonchalantly tell everyone that it was no big deal that I’d been rejected by 15 schools so I was delighted and relieved to receive a real sign of interest. After all, once you’re at the interview stage, you’re practically in, right?

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